Why colleges use ACT reasoning test?

Certification: Admission Tests ACT - American College Testing

The ACT stands for “American College Testing”, is a standardized assessment test meant for senior secondary school. It is meant for the assessment of achievements and admissions in colleges in United States. It was started in 1959, making it a competitor for SAT (College Board’s Scholastic Aptitude Test). Originally ACT comprises of four exams Natural Sciences, Social Studies, Math’s and English. After in 1989 test for Social Studies was replaced by Reading test which had Social Studies as its part and Science Reasoning test replaces the Natural Sciences test, after the change paper focused more on problem solving skill of the students. The ACT is the common entrance test that the students have to take for admissions in colleges and university in Unites States.

Most of the colleges accept the ACT score and use its reasoning test because it is based on the high school course work and its curriculum. It updates itself according to that and gives direct measure of student skills that is coming into college after their high school completion. Following are some reasons due to which colleges uses ACT reasoning test.

Achievement of the student

The ACT test is the correct measurement of the knowledge that an individual have learnt in his/her school. It tests the verbal ability and reasoning sense of students. The students who are ran holder can make their achievements visible to the educating college and university by clearing the test with good ran and percentile. The test allows you to determine what does the student knows from his/her high school study, whether he/she is ready for college or not.

Length of the test

The test conducted by ACT consists of 215 questions with an essay. For this the students are given 3 hrs. and 25 min. this means that the students have less time per question to answer. The students should have a good speed to answer all the questions in time. This can come if you practice as much questions as you can in short span of time to succeed.

Science paper

The science section of the ACT test assesses the ability of the students, whether they are able to interpret the graphs, summaries of various researches, and hypotheses in various areas of science. The questions are from every field of science. The students who are good at interpreting graphs charts and other hypothetical situations will do extremely we in this section, providing the educators info about their strong roots of high school.

English reading writing

The ACT test strongly emphasizes on the grammar portion of this section. The student should be capable of using, noun pronoun verbs, adjective, and adverbs. They should be aware of the usage of comma, coon, semi coon, and other punctuation rues. The correct use of punctuation marks indicates that the student have the ability to form sentences and organize their thoughts.

Absence of penalty

The test by ACT doesnot has negative marking. This allows the colleges to understand better about the eve of knowledge a student have. For example, if a student guesses the answer of a question correctly that means he have a sound knowledge of the subject.


The essay writing is optional in ACT test, but many colleges look for it. This section allows the educators to find the comprehensive outlook the students, their ability to project their ideas, implement them and counter question the topic. The students can do well if only they have worked on their writing skill as this is the most important part of college.

Pattern of questions

The paper of ACT is overall multiple choice questions, which makes it easier to an extent. But if you don’t have in depth knowledge of the topic, you will not be able to answer the performance based questions, in which one need to use their knowledge as we as skills. This provides the educators now about the thing eve of students.

Scoring procedure

Every section of ACT is of 36 points along with certain sub scores. The average composite score of ACT test is 21. So if a student scores more than that, then it means he has studied well during his high school. The composite score is determined by measuring the score of a student against other students who are taking the test. Therefore the composite scores of ACT are more valued by the colleges

The composite scores of ACT are valued because it provides whether the student is ready to enter college or not. The statistics show that in the year 2011, 25% of test takers only were ready to enter college in all the sections of knowledge that ACT determines. In other study it showed that only 29.3% students could go to Science College. This low values shows that the students may face performance problems in college. The ACT also measures the student’s ability to perform in tests. The successful measurement is necessary because passing a test is essential for college. The students who perform well in tests often tend to have higher grades in their college, especially in the multiple choice type question papers.

The reason behind the colleges using ACT reasoning tests is that the test are developed by incorporating the objectives of middle and high school in united states. The ACT Reasoning test is used by most of the colleges in United States because of the absence of college entrance examination, and there is major difference in curriculum, funding, and grading in U.S high schools. Most of the colleges use Act score only for the admission due to the calculation of composite scores. The sampling on the ACT scores reveals that the composite score of 75th percentile was only 24.1 when checked at public institutions.


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